Walking Tour #1: Part 1

Self-Help to Cinco Puntos


  Starting Point, Site #1, Self-Help Graphics

3802 Cesar E. Chavez Ave. (323)881-6444

Call first to find out if Self-Help is open with an exhibit in the gallery or is hosting events in the performance space upstairs. On a weekend around Dia de los Muertos (November first) thousands crowd the parking lot in back, perusing the latest thing in iconic T-shirts, Che Guevara and Frida votive candles, handcraft booths and taco stands while calaveras cavort and local bands provide rockeros brief hope. If the gallery is open, the tienda off to the side offers CDs, books, art (posters, prints) and souvenirs. While the exhibits at Self-Help tend to the obviously tendentious and the institution suffered lately from erratic administration following the death of founder Karen Boccalero, Self-Help has provided authentic artistic self-expression for two generations in a community where arts education has been devastated, producing over the years a vibrant, important collection of prints by recognized and emerging Eastside artists. If Self-Help is closed, you can still admire the mural, “Homenaje a Siqueiros,” on the east side of the building above the taco stand (Super Taco) on Cesar Chavez. The mural is a recreation of the long-hidden and partially destroyed mural by famous Mexican muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros at Olvera Street.

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